Eagles' Chris Long unsure if he'll return for 12th NFL season

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Yahoo Sports

Veteran pass-rusher Chris Long is under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles for 2019, but he isn’t sure whether he’ll be playing a 12th NFL season.

The second overall pick in 2008, Long has won two Super Bowl rings in recent years, and his national profile has risen due to his good deeds — he donated all of his 2017 salary, $1 million, to educational initiatives, and a quarter of his 2018 salary, about $400,000, to a literacy program in Philadelphia, and his Water Boys organization provides desperately-needed wells to communities in Africa.

Long was named the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

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He may be ready to turn his attention to those works full-time.

‘I’m pretty undecided’

Philadelphia Eagles edge rusher Chris Long hasn't decided whether he'll play a 12th NFL season this year. (Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles edge rusher Chris Long hasn't decided whether he'll play a 12th NFL season this year. (Getty Images)

USA Today’s Jarrett Bell caught up with Long on Monday night, after hosting a town hall meeting for the Players Coalition at George Mason University.

“I’m pretty undecided, but from the looks of things they’re going to make it hard for me in my favorite city,” Long said. “We’ll see.”

There was a report from ESPN’s Field Yates in March that the Eagles had adjusted Long and Nigel Bradham’s contracts, creating a total of $5.032 million in cap space, though it’s unclear what happened with Long’s contract specifically.

When one Eagles fan wondered on Twitter if the transaction meant Long would be back, he responded, “That doesn’t mean that at all.”

Role is a driver

Long disputed the notion that money is playing a role in his decision-making on Twitter on Tuesday.

“Nothing I’ve indicated would lead someone to believe that,” Long wrote. “Plenty of quotes out there on role being a driver for me...but here I am being redundant.”

Though he didn’t record any starts for the first season of his career, Long did play in all 16 games, and was on the field for 59 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps. He finished with 6.5 sacks and 20 quarterback hits.

“In March, I really wanted to play. Now, I don’t know,” Long said on Monday night. “I definitely am not feeling like going to OTAs. We’ll see what happens.

“If there’s any place that will make you try to do it again, it’s Philly. But it’s tough.”

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